Once upon a time I reviewed a movie called “Stake Land”. It was very good. Now for the Month of Spooks, I am reviewing its sequel. So let’s do it.
Ladies and gentlemen… “The Stakelander”.
The world has gone to shit. After his life in New Eden is destroys by the vampire brotherhood known as… The Brotherhood, Martin (Connor Paolo) must travel into the wasteland to try to find his old mentor and friend Mister (Nick Damici). So now we have our story. And I really enjoyed it. Sure, it lacks a lot of the little subtleties that made the first movie’s plot so great, but it’s still an enjoyable enough plot that works in its own right. Whereas the first one was a slowly burning road drama, this is more of a fast-paced action-horror thing. I do still prefer the first movie’s plot, but this is still an enjoyable romp.
The characters in this are interesting and entertaining. Connor Paolo reprises his role as Martin, the young man taken in by Mister in the first movie. He’s older, much more proficient at killing vampires, a hardened survivor. But he still has a warm heart beating behind that chest of his, giving some nice layers to the gruff boy. And Paolo is really good in the role. Next up we have Nick Damici reprising his role as Mister. How do we describe his character… had the movie come out in the 70s, Charles Bronson would’ve played him. He’s an older badass who is able to kick a lot of ass. But he does also have a soft side in there, he just doesn’t reveal it to anyone. And Damici is great in the role. We also get supporting performances from people like Laura Abramsen, A.C. Peterson, Steven Williams, Kristina Hughes, and more, all doing well in their respective roles.
The score for the movie was composed by Redding Hunter (that is such a good name), and I think he did a good job with it. Of course there are a lot of familiar horror stings there, but there’s also a good chunk of the music that has a very western-y vibe, which I think really works for the whole “wandering through the wasteland” thing this movie is going for. And it all comes together to create a really good score.
Unlike the first movie, “The Stakelander” was not directed by Jim Mickle (though Nick Damici stayed on as writer). Instead this was directed by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen, and I think they brought a somewhat distinct style to it that I liked. Where the first movie created a very broody atmosphere for its slow character drama, this has a more light atmosphere that complements the generally faster pace. But they still do bring in the creeps from time to time, thanks to solid direction and some vicious fuckin’ vamps. And the cinematography by Matt Mitchell was really good, giving us some really good looking shots. Some decently satisfying action here too.
This movie doesn’t have much of an existence on the sites I usually use, so this’ll be brief. But I can say that on imdb.com it has a score of 5,3/10.
While it lacks a lot of the subtlety and layers that made the first one great, “The Stakelander” is still a really solid sequel. It has a good plot, good characters, really good performances, great music, and really good directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Stakelander” is an 8,76/10. So while not perfect, it’s still worth buying.
My review of “The Stakelander” is now completed.
Not gonna lie, my expectations for this were quite low, but I am glad to have been proven wrong by it.